in the end.

Man I am really upset about this Wonder Woman movie. Usually I could care less about this kind of thing, but I think seeing all of the hype online and all the girl power that's coming out of it, I was stoked that the gals were getting a female superhero lead. And then I saw what she looked like, and was just straight up bummed. That chick has never lifted a weight in her life. She has ZERO muscle definition. She probably can't even do a pull up. Surely the actor could've just done some squats or push ups before filming? And I know she has super strength, but I don't think that justifies the way she looks. I'm kinda pissed about it and it's stupid to be, but I can't help it. I think because I know what it's like to have to work really hard to get strong, and I know so many other chicks out there killing it and looking like real life warriors... It's such a misrepresentation of a female Amazonian warrior. Anyway, that movie is dead to me.

Speaking of women's rights. I read an article that stated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, "in the overwhelming majority of the lowest (worst) ranking 44 states in terms of women’s rights and equality, Islam is the dominant ­religion. As the list of 144 climbs up from worst to best the Islamic states become fewer and far between... the increased status of Islam in a country correlates inversely with the extent to which women will enjoy equal rights." Never before in Islamic history have women been so brutalized, and yet we have a public figure like Yassmin Abdel-Magied "educating" us all on the fact that Islam is the most feminist religion. What an embarrassment she is to women. It's people like her that push this culture vs religion argument that completely undermine the moderate Muslims who are calling out for reformation within the religion. But I guess if we all just put our heads in the sand and sing songs about love and change our profile picture in solidarity we won't have to worry about the 11 year old girl that has to dress up as a boy in Afghanistan to go to school, or the 14 year old girl that's getting married to a 34 year old man in a Melbourne mosque, or the 22 year old woman who was stabbed in Germany for offending a Muslim man's honour because she rejected his "romantic" advances, or the Swedish mother of 2 who was gang raped by at least 9 Muslim men, or any of the other millions of women who are oppressed, abused or killed in the name of Islam. But yeah, it has nothing to do with the religion. It's just a few bad eggs. It's just the culture. You know where the culture comes from? THE RELIGION. If this epidemic was occurring in the Christian communities, people would unanimously condemn the religion. But because it's Islam, there's a million reasons why it's not the religion at all. I'm so sick of liberal hypocrisy and this political correctness plague. White men are condemned more for being privileged. It's insanity. Imagine if women in Islamic countries rallied against men as they do in the Western world. They would be beaten in the streets. They would be stoned to death. They would be raped. If white men are the problem, why aren't all the Western countries ranked the lowest on that report? By the way, I'm not saying that there aren't shitty, horrible, disgusting white men out there. Just like there are shitty, horrible, disgusting white women out there. And I'm not diminishing the fact that women are threatened by men every day, no matter the cultural background, religion or race. But in terms of fighting for equality, I think this attack on white men pales in comparison to a much larger conversation that isn't being had by the mainstream feminist movement.

On a lighter note, Wade and I have basically adopted a dog. Her name is Athena and she lives behind us. We discovered a small hole in our back fence a few weeks ago and since then, she has been coming through to play with the boys and get some extra cuddles from us. First she came over on the weekend, and then she started coming over every couple of days to hang out at night, and now she comes over EVERY night and doesn't leave until the morning. She's just so adorable and it's a weird situation to be in because she spends more time with us than she does her own family. Wade and I have just been waiting to see the hole in the fence closed up by the neighbours, but so far they haven't even said anything about the fact she sleeps over. We spoke to them once early on and they were happy she had friends to play with. But I mean, I basically look at her now as my own dog. The boys have all embraced her. Even Moe and he's a cat.
She's a real lady, and YES I am wearing hiking gear because it's cold as shit right now.
I've started learning how to knit. So far I've made two scarves, and a cardigan/shall thingy. It's infuriatingly confusing if you're a novice and can't recognise when you've made a mistake until you're 3 rows deep and have to unravel everything to start again. It's great for people who have addictive personalities. You can be extremely productive without having to exert much energy. I'm tired most of the time, so knitting allows me to learn and be productive in a fairly passive way. I also appreciate the fact that knitting has nothing to do with technology. It's a tactile activity. I spend at least 50 hours a week with my fingers on a keyboard or phone, so it's nice to be able to feel the yarn in my hands, and create something useful with just a couple of needles.
I've always had this fear of dying alone. But I've come to the realisation that death is a solitary event, no matter the circumstance. I think it's comforting to believe that when you die, you'll have your family with you until your last breath. But in reality, they're just observers. They're not participating, they're not going with you. Your death is your own. In some ways it has eased my irrational anxiety, a slight release of control. I believe most of my apprehensions towards mortality are due to my desperate need to have power over my existence (and inevitable demise). Rather than sitting with those feelings, becoming present to them and really acknowledging the emotional and physical impact my aversions to death have on me, I avoid them all together. I am so utterly terrified of death. I think about it every day. It's relentless. I recently listened to a podcast episode by a great comedian and intellect, Duncan Trussell, who interviews his mum while she's in hospital. The conversation takes place only a couple of weeks before her death, and it is powerfully profound. It really gave me insight into letting go of the resistance we feel towards death (or any uncomfortable reality for that matter) and being OK with just embracing the experience for what it is. That is not easy by the way. But it's a start.
I want to write a book, but I don't know what to write about. I know I've blogged about this multiple times by the way, hopefully if I write about it enough, I'll actually do it. I've never been a creative writer. My imagination doesn't go very far when it comes to writing fiction. I think I'd be better off writing some form of the truth as a base, and expanding from that original concept with fictional events/characters. But I'm only 25, so my experiences are somewhat limited in terms of what I can write about. I'd endeavour to write a book in the same style I write here. I started attempting to write a short story, just as a test. I wrote about 4 paragraphs and then got stuck. I didn't go into the story with any real plan, it was more so just what I thought would be interesting to write about. I might put it up on here at some point for review. Maybe I could write a collection of short stories. I know the basic structure in terms of story writing, but honestly, whenever I think about expanding one of my own stories into the framework of a classic novel, I can't seem to get away from the predictability of how the story unfolds. From my own research into writing, I am aware of the fact that it is a slow, tedious and grueling process that is not enjoyable. I have not heard one author say otherwise. Discipline is very important too. Just making yourself write every day. Even if it's just a couple of sentences. I think my biggest barrier is that I don't know what the point of my story is. What is the message I'm trying to convey? And the reason I don't know this, is because what I'm writing about is based off of my own experiences in life. And I don't know what I'm doing, so how am I supposed to have some profound ending that makes the reader really think and feel, when in fact I don't really know what to think and feel? I'm barely an adult. I mean, I've sort of violently thrust myself into adulthood by getting married and having a mortgage and raising responsible fur children. But just because I do it doesn't mean it doesn't scare the shit out of me. I mop every weekend. EVERY WEEKEND. And you know what happens? My floors are clean for a day, and then they get covered in muddy paw prints and it's a vicious cycle that I participate in because that's just life isn't it? You mop your floors and no matter what, eventually they're going to be covered in mud again and YOU have to make the decision whether or not you're going to clean that shit up or just leave it until you're up to your knees in mud and thinking, "Why the fuck did I let it get this far?" Am I a motivational speaker? Did that just become some kind of poorly constructed metaphor for life? Whatever, just go with it.

Wade and I moved house in April. We now live about 2 minutes down the road from where we used to live. The house we moved into was previously owned by a cat hoarder. Oh yes, you read that right. The dude at one point in time had TWELVE cats. "How do you know that?" BECAUSE THE ENTIRE HOUSE SMELLS LIKE CAT PEE. And our next door neighbour told us that the council had to come and take away 10 of the cats. But mostly the pee smell. Let me paint this picture for you. The previous owner was a complete slob. To the point where I was worried that the house would not be safe enough to even live in without adequate bleaching of every surface. Wade suggested that we could just burn the place down and start from scratch, but for logistics purposes we decided against that. On the day of settlement, we got our keys at noon. We headed over to the house around 12:30pm, and the dude was STILL MOVING. He had not cleaned the house, the entire place was a mess, he literally hadn't even cleared out the kitchen or his closets. At this point the house is legally ours, so we could've just told him to fuck off if we wanted to, but I didn't want to have to clear out all his shit so we told him that we'd be back around 5pm to move in. Fast forward to 5pm, he had done NOTHING between that time and left a note on the floor saying, "I'll be back to finish". Um, what the fuck. I'm a tolerant person. I'm nice to people. I can empathise. But when you have an entire month to make arrangements to move out of your house, surely, SURELY you would be organised enough to at least be out of the house at the agreed time. The house is a renovation job, so we were realistic to the fact that it wasn't going to be clean per se, but our expectations were that it'd be empty. Not the case here. So the guy comes back about half an hour after we get there, and says to us, "A thousand apologies." In that moment, I realised that I despise the phrase, "A thousand apologies." Who are you, Steven Seagal? Get the fuck out of here with that shit. He continued to remove the rest of his stuff, while Wade, my parents and I started cleaning. It was so embarrassing. I was humiliated for him. And don't feel sorry for him. If you're a grown ass man and can't even maintain your own home, you've lost at life. Somewhere along the way, you have given up on what it is to be a dignified human being, and have let yourself sink into a wasteful existence [insert mop/mud metaphor here]. "That's harsh." You know what's harsh? Not being able to breathe, because the stench of cat piss is so overwhelming that it makes your eyes water. That was the state of the laundry room. It was so horrifying, I couldn't even go into the room. We cleaned every wall, bench top, floor, window... You wouldn't have wanted to walk around barefoot in there. I am not exaggerating. I had to sweep out the kitchen cupboards with a broom. A BROOM! And the whole time we were doing all of this, the guy was just walking around WHISTLING. Like he was having the time of his life. The whole situation was gross. I managed to compose myself because I realised there was no point in saying anything, plus the dude was just sad. His existence was sad. His demeanor was sad. His whole aura was sad. And kind of creepy as well. He left a porno poster in one of the closets after he left. And a bunch of sex hotline phone numbers were under his bathroom sink. Does he know the internet exists? Who looks at porn posters anymore? And it had blue tack on the poster, like he had had it up on his wall at one point in time. Like a teenage boy. It took us 2 days to get it up to scratch. Wade, his brother and my dad ripped out the laundry immediately. At one point I could hear all three of them dry heaving because the smell was so bad. I think he had just let all the cats use that room as the designated toilet. The skirting boards were black. It was toxic. Who the fuck does that? Fast forward to now and that room STILL faintly smells like cat pee. His legacy lives on I guess...

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